Naked Ad Banned

by Matt Dunstan

Wow, 24 hours is a long time in social media isn’t it?

If you haven’t been following the iiNet buzz, here’s a quick update:

For a bit of fun, we decided to put a two-frame (a tenth of a second) message in our latest Naked DSL TV commercial. It said something like “well done for spotting this…. go to this secret URL and you can get a prize for being so smart…” (photo on right).

We had 4400 people find it and they were pretty happy with themselves and that was about as far as it went, at least up until yesterday.

That was until the rest of the world caught on to our little bit of fun and the online conversation buzzed. Some people were discussing whether it was ‘subliminal advertising’, others thought it was ‘just a bit of fun’, others said it was ‘marketing genius’ – I liked the last people the best.

Let me clear the air. We didn’t do it to break the law or create social buzz (as much as I’d like to say we did). We did it because we wanted to do things differently to how others are doing it. We did it because we believe in having fun and because we want to have real engagement with our customers, rather than just preaching to them via traditional, one-way advertising.

We love the fact that we can now have ongoing dialogues with our customers. This was just another way of doing that.

We will, actually, we PROMISE to continue to do things differently to the other guys and to find ways to show that at iiNet we’re passionate about what we do and that there is a better way (and sometimes it’s even fun as well!).

You’re going to watch the next iiNet ad more closely now, aren’t you!

PS – there is no subliminal message contained in this blog post… or is there?


  1. Shane says:

    I personally had no idea about this ad until I saw the post on Facebook… ahh the wonders of social media hey? I personally think it’s fantastic and perfectly covers the geeky face of iiWin.

    Although, after reading this article, I have a strange overwhelming urge to go purchase some more iiNet products.

    You sly devil Matt…

  2. Trent Lloyd says:


    Your article is a little confusing, from what I can infer it seems the ad was taken off the air for some reason or another.. but the article doesn’t really clarify that. The only hint is the word banned in the subject, and the fact that you start talking about things like some people thought the two frame thing was potentially bad!

    Maybe you could fix it up to be a little more clear :-)


  3. Dalbs says:

    I cracked it, Matt.
    Very clever. Not what I expected.
    Do I get a prize ?

    (No – not that Dalbs, the other one.)

  4. felixmeister says:

    If you have the right browser version and highlight the spaces between the text, you can see the subliminal message.

  5. cecil says:

    subliminal advertising is a form of brain washing.

  6. Edna says:

    Yes it is subliminal advertising and specifically banned under Regulations of Australian TV standards.

  7. Tom Atkinson says:

    Cool campaign idea. I reckon, arguably, it is not subliminal as the rest of the ad most likely supported the 2 frames with a intro/outro to it.

  8. dr john says:

    well done you!

    Pity the petty-minded people still think that subliminal advertising actually exists and stopped the ad. Will people ever realise so-called subliminal advertising is an urban myth?

    And how could anyone read all that small text in a tenth of a second???

    Hope you make some more interesting ads and that they spread quickly! Of course in their attempt to ban the ad, the fools have brought you even more attention! 😉

  9. Andrew says:

    Surely to be subliminal it would need to work subliminally? E.g. by subconsciously affecting you while watching the show at normal speed.

    Instead, the only way this works is if you find and pause the frame and choose to read the message.

    I believe it’s a unique idea that happens to be a bit too much like something else.

  10. Anthony says:

    I dont think a lot of people actually understand subliminal messaging, and the ACCC are apparently those people.

    Subliminal advertising needs to be able to able to be deciphered by the brain at a high speed. Saying this was subliminal advertising is the equivalent of throwing 500 pages in the air, getting a brief glimpse of each page and saying that you just read a book.

    poor form.